Parkinson’s Disease: What is it and how it can be Treated?

Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that impacts movement. It starts off slowly, usually with hand tremors. Over time though, Parkinson’s symptoms increase and include slower speech, difficulty displaying emotions and trouble walking.

Parkinson’s is incurable, but medications and therapy can greatly improve symptoms. Lifestyle changes can also help with alleviating the symptoms of the disease.

Treatment by Medication & Surgery

Different medication can help senior citizens manage issues such as difficulty walking, or other movement related symptoms, including tremors. These medicines often aim to increase the dopamine in your brain, which is low in people with Parkinson’s.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical option for those suffering from Parkinson’s. Electrodes are used to send pulses to your brain and help reduce symptoms. It is recommended for more advanced cases of the disease.

Diet Changes

While nothing is known to stop the progression of Parkinson’s, healthy lifestyle changes can provide significant improvement in the symptoms of the disease. Eating a healthy diet, such as one high in omega-3 fatty acids, is recommended, as is a diet high in fiber and fluids.

Physical Therapy

Exercise is another great recommendation, as it improves muscle strength, flexibility and balance. It can improve general well-being, reduce anxiety and depression as well. A physical therapist may be recommended to help devise a physical therapy program that is best suited for your needs. This may include water aerobics, swimming, walking, dancing or gardening.

Massage, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation and acupuncture have all been known to help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

Speech Therapy

People suffering from Parkinson’s often have difficulty swallowing and problems with speech. A speech therapist can be extremely helpful in helping address these problems, by teaching speaking and swallowing exercises, and providing technology to help with these issues.

Occupational Therapy

It can also be helpful to identify parts of the daily routine that may be difficult to manage for someone with Parkinson’s, such as dressing yourself. The occupational therapist can then provide practical solutions, and ensure the house is safe for them to live in as well, allowing patients to maintain their independence as long as possible.  

At Split Rock Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, there are occupational, speech and physical therapists available to help patients with Parkinson’s address their symptoms in the best manner possible.

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